Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Ah Robyn ...

I've been singing Ah Robyn in my head all afternoon - and if you don't know this delightful song the link is to an exemplary performance of it - because of a delightful encounter at midday. And you must forgive my archaic spelling, which I use because that's how it was written when I first came across the song, which our octet in our university days performed in Fordell Castle for Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, the QC and Tory MP, and "sixty intimate friends" on a never-to-be-forgotten evening. 

All that because on such a wonderfully blue, crisp morning I couldn't bear to stay indoors till the afternoon and the early decline of the sun, so after coffee we headed out to another favourite place, Benmore Gardens, and puffed our way up the hill to the Andean Refuge. We were wondering at the planting of some shrubs where, when they mature, they will obscure the view, and I was peering at the label attached to the wire fence round one (protecting it from deer) when this robin suddenly arrived on the fence some six inches from my nose. It didn't seem in the least bothered that I got my phone out and took a whole bunch of photos, and seemed instead delighted that I had a wee bag of wild bird food in my pocket - because this robin, or its relative - seems to lurk up here and is very friendly. 

The tracks in the garden were for the most part free of frost, so the only slippy bit was crossing the old wooden bridge over the Eachaig on the way back to the car. I hate the way we're reduced to being tottering old people by a little bit of ice - I used to be a daredevil on the slides we created in the school playground, the ones which the janny would destroy with salt before the morning interval.

The rest of the day I bent the mighty brain to doing something about Christmas, ordering several presents online (I know - I'd like to shop local but there are fewer and fewer options) and printing out labels for cards. (I've discovered we've enough of the old, soon-to-be-useless stamps to send most of the cards we usually send). This took an unconscionable time, but the late dinner was worth it for the lessening of that feeling of not being ready for anything.

I've put together a collage of four more gardens shots - two of trees and berries, and two of the frozen ornamental lake. I took so many, but I realise that when I see something beautiful and manage a decent photo of it it makes me feel happy and this is A Good Thing. Not in the collage is the fire of felled wood on the hillside - the crackling and the smell of the smoke were the perfect accompaniment to our walk. 

On the way home we stopped off to buy some new tree lights and met our former boss and his wife, old friends of the past 40+ years whom we rarely see despite our still all living here. Instant blethers, reminiscences, references - the shared past is an important place.

It's 11ºC in our bedroom just now ...

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